Practicing Iyengar yoga offers us the creative and perhaps potentially daunting task of sorting through WHAT to practice when we practice on our own. The gift is in the possibility of finding a practice that suits our emotional state, physical condition, stage of life and so forth; in at least many other yoga traditions, there is much more set sequencing—this leaves less room for tailoring practice to particular needs of the moment. Having a few basic guidelines for “the natural order” of poses in the Iyengar system will help you find your way, as will relying initially on books, class remembrances and recorded sequences, prior to you being motivated to consider truly formulating your own sequences. As one astute student points out, the teacher is actually teaching students to BE their own teachers! So, if you plan on formulating your sequences, consider your emotional and physical state of the moment, any ongoing chronic conditions you would like to be focussing on regularly, and then also know that if you plan on inversions and will practice classical sirsasana (headstand) you then will also need to practice shoulderstand (sarvangasana), though you could practice the latter singularly. Also, if you practice backbends or forward bends, it is important if not essential to practice the appropriate preparatory poses for the body to yield to the more demanding spinal tasks of these categories of asanas. And then, a bit of counter pose is important as well; so if you have a backbend practice, some neutral spine and forward bending is important when you have finished the backbending, for example. There is also the consideration here that if you are practicing even standing poses, that if you have tight hamstrings, calves or hips you as an individual, may be optimizing your practice with asanas to prepare for the standing poses, though there is no guideline in general suggesting this approach. If you have been in classes over the years, you may likely have an “imprint” that is influencing your sense of the “natural order” of asanas; being awake and aware to the order in class will help you develop a more natural sense of the orders of asanas that will serve you in home practice. So as usual, paying attention, being awake is an important and central element of practice! Ruturning to the simple approach, most important is beginning to practice, and so there is always the handy formula, passed along to me by Felicity Green, of choosing an asana from class that was challenging, and one that was agreeable, and focussing on those for a satisying “seed” of a hopefully expanding garden of possibility.